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Markets await nonfarm payrolls

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The dollar was slightly lower against the yen early Friday, with investors sitting on sidelines ahead of the all-important US nonfarm payrolls report for January later in the day. This is the most closely watched jobs data so market players investors were reluctant to take new positions ahead of these.

The Federal Reserve will examine the data carefully to determine whether the US economy has recovered enough to go ahead with a rate increase as early as in the middle of the year.
The dollar edged edged down versus the yen to 117.30 compared with 117.54 late Thursday in New York.

Economists forecast another 200,000-plus increase in new jobs in January to mark that 12th straight month that’s happened. And unemployment is seen drifting down to 5.5% from 5.6%.

Even if job creation tops the 200,000 mark again, however, markets may not react with great enthusiasm. Investors are concerned about a downside bias in the US economy, especially given recent weak data, leading to heightened caution toward U.S. retail sales data scheduled for next week. The weakening global economy could make US companies more cautious about hiring.

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